Problems getting Covid booster jabs in Herefordshire

A HEREFORD woman has said she was offered appointments for her Covid booster jab more than 70 miles away in South Wales instead of in her home city.

Diane Treherne, of Bardolph Close, Hereford, said that she rang the NHS’s 119 number five times to book a booster jab, and each time the nearest vaccination centres she was offered were 74 miles away in Gloucester, Swansea or Cinderford

“It makes you wonder what it is about Herefordshire,” she said.

In Broxwood, near Kington, Gerald Hodson said he was also disappointed by the availability of booster jabs in the county.

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He said despite being eligible for a booster jab, when he and his wife went to book online via the NHS portal, the only option in the county was Elgar House in Hereford’s Holmer Road, which had no availability.

He said: “The nearest we were offered which had space was Telford or a place on the other side of Worcester. You can’t seem to get a jab without a 60-mile trip.

Mr Hodson said he and his wife ended up getting a booster 23 miles away in Craven Arms, north of Ludlow in Shropshire.

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“Why isn’t Herefordshire providing more spaces? They must have known from the amount of jabs gave out before how many they’d need for boosters,” he said

According to the NHS website, most people can book a vaccination appointment online for a centre or pharmacy, go to a walk-vaccination site or wait to be contacted by a local NHS service such as a GP surgery and book an appointment with them.

A walk-in vaccination centre will be held at Leominster Community Centre, School Road, on Sunday, November 21, from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

The clinic will offer a booster jab to anyone who had their second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine more than six months ago.

It will also offer first doses of the Pfizer vaccine to anyone over the age of 16, while second doses will also be available for anyone over the age of 18.

Mr Hobson said he felt this was still insufficient.

“They should really be providing more in the county,” he said.

Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, said that people have shared their frustrations with him about getting vaccination appointments at clinics far outside the county.

“I have taken the matter up directly with the NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and with local GPs.”

A spokesperson at NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG said: “We appreciate that some people are finding it frustrating and difficult to book a slot for their booster, but we can confirm that vaccine is available across the country to ensure that all those who are eligible for a booster vaccine from six months after their second dose will receive one.”

Hereford Times